There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to buying a home, especially for first-time buyers. Surveys are a great tool; they can help you avoid expensive repairs and fines and find potential hazards. By conducting them before you are too far along in the process, you are also able to cut your losses should you need to before committing too much time or money to a property that is a non-starter. So, let’s get into it.
RICS Condition Report
The RICS Condition Report is fairly self-explanatory. It details the condition of the property, and in doing so, it can identify any potential hazards, risks, legal issues or defects. Therefore, it should always be conducted no matter how old the property is or what state it seems to be in. It represents the most basic survey, and it is often one of the cheapest too.
RICS HomeBuyer Report
The RICS HomeBuyer report is conducted on conventional properties which are already in a reasonable condition. It aims to seek out structural issues like subsidence or damp. It takes into account both the interior and the exterior of the property. Some forms of the report include the property valuation. This can then help if your report finds that the price of the home is worth less than your mortgage provider’s valuation. If there is no valuation, then you could use the cost of predicted repairs in order to lower the asking price.
RICS Building Survey
The RICS Building Survey is more in-depth than other forms of survey. Their findings are rated either 1, 2, or 3 in order to catalogue the issues found from most to least serious. These are primarily for larger, older, or more rundown properties. The property’s condition is assessed to ascertain whether there is a need for any repairs or maintenance. This report also includes advice on how to deal with problems found at the property, the costs associated with the repair and what to expect if you do not conduct said repairs.
A Full Structural Survey
A Full Structural Survey is the most comprehensive survey that you can find, and it can be used on any residential property, although it is especially useful for older homes that may need a few repairs. It can be pricey, but it is extensive. It does not tend to include a valuation, but the surveyor does offer their opinion on whether or not there are likely to be hidden defects. They often also offer their recommendations for dealing with any issues found.
Ecological Surveys are conducted to appraise the land around your property. These are recommended for people who plan to have building work undertaken. In fact, if you build on your land without conducting one, you might be liable for some serious legal repercussions. They often have different phases. The preliminary ecological appraisal looks for evidence of wildlife and the second phase seeks to confirm the existence of said wildlife on your property. Not all surveyors offer this service, so you need to seek out a business like Arbtech, which has hubs all over the country.
New Build Snagging Survey
There seems to be an emerging trend where new builds are simply not built well, the development companies cut corners, and the buyers are left in homes with serious issues. Thus, The New Build Snagging Survey can be vital. An independent inspection takes place, and they look for any potential issues. If any are found, your developer should really fix the highlighted faults before you move into the property.
Mortgage Valuation Surveys are conducted with the sole aim to provide your mortgage lender with a reliable value for the property. It is to ensure that it is worth the price you are paying for it, or the worth of the mortgage at least. A valuation is solely to ascertain the value; it will not look for any issues within the property. In most cases, you will be expected to pay for the valuation, but some lenders do offer this service as part of their package. If you find that the valuation comes back with a lower price than the amount you have offered, you can either offer a lower price based on the findings or dispute the findings.
The Next Steps
The truth is that in older homes, a survey almost always finds issues. If you want to be more involved, then you can go with your surveyor and ask them questions as they carry out the survey and point out the things that concern you. In the end, you are the one that is going to have to live there and pay for any issues. There are several things that will need investigating after a survey. The electrical installation, the central heating, damp and timber issues and any problems with the roof.
If you or the survey finds any problems, then the first thing that you need to do is to check whether or not a guarantee still covers you. You will also want to ask the surveyor for an idea of how much the repairs will be. If you find out that you will need extensive work doing, then you should get a quote from a builder or a couple of builders. You can then use these estimates to refer back to and submit as evidence when renegotiating the price with the seller. You are also within your rights to ask the seller to fix these issues before the sale is complete. Bear in mind that it isn’t simply the cost of the work itself but also the time and energy you will have to put into having these issues fixed, not to mention the upheaval. Finally, at this point, you are not committed yet, so you can choose to cut your losses and walk away.
When it comes to buying a house, there are a lot of surveys and admin that goes into ensuring that the home is safe for you and your family. It can also tell you whether or not the home is worth the money you are spending on it. While not all of the surveys are legally necessary, they do make sense to carry out in order to ascertain whether or not you are going to run into any issues.